edTPA Elementary Mathematics Assessment Handbook
47 of 50
structures) that provide useful ways for the content to be communicated.
mathematics, language structures include symbolic representations such as
numbers, equations, and proofs (which can be translated into words), tables and
graphs (which are shorthand language for summarizing complex sets of data), and
narrative (e.g., explanations of problem solutions). If the function is to compare, then
appropriate language forms could include Venn diagrams or pattern sentences such
as “The _____ is longer/larger/heavier than the ______.” If the function is to explain,
then students might use sentence starters like “First, I…”, “Then I…” to structure the
explanation, and use “Finally, I…” to signal the conclusion.
syntax: The set of conventions for organizing symbols, words, and phrases together
into structures (e.g., sentences, graphs, tables).
language supports: The scaffolds, representations, and pedagogical strategies
teachers provide to help learners understand, use, and practice the concepts and
language they need to learn within disciplines (Santos, Darling-Hammond, Cheuk,
The language supports planned within the lessons in edTPA should directly
support learners to understand and use identified language demands (vocabulary
and/or symbols, language function, and discourse or syntax) to deepen content
aligned: Consistently addressing the same/similar learning outcomes for students.
artifacts: Authentic work completed by you and your students, including lesson plans,
copies of instructional and assessment materials, video clips of your teaching, and student
work samples. Artifacts are submitted as part of your edTPA evidence.
assessment (formal and informal): “[R]efer[s] to all those activities undertaken by
teachers and by their students . . . that provide information to be used as feedback to modify
the teaching and learning activities.”
Assessments provide evidence of students’ prior
knowledge, thinking, or learning in order to evaluate what students understand and how they
are thinking. Informal assessments may include, for example, student questions and
responses during instruction and teacher observations of students as they work or perform.
Formal assessments may include, for example, quizzes, homework assignments, journals,
projects, and performance tasks.
assets (knowledge of students):
personal: Refers to specific background information that students bring to the
learning environment. Students may bring interests, knowledge, mathematical
dispositions, everyday experiences, family backgrounds, and so on, which a teacher
can draw upon to support learning.
Quinn, H., Lee, O., & Valdés, G. (2012). Language demands and opportunities in relation to next generation science
standards for English Language Learners: What teachers need to know. Retrieved from
Zwiers, J. (2008). Building academic language: Essential practices for content classrooms. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Santos, M., Darling-Hammond, L., & Cheuk, T. (2012). Teacher development to support
English language learners in the context of common core state standards. Stanford University Understanding Language.
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan,
Copyright © 2015 Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.
All rights reserved.